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Things to do in Montréal: November 18 to 24

As Montréal waits for its first snowfall, Santa Claus arrives in a parade, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and wild circus shows thrill, new art and film transform perceptions, and live music from electro to Bach rocks our world. Seasonal sights Santa comes to town early for Montréal’s annual Santa Claus Parade on Nov. 19 along Sainte-Catherine Street starting at 11 am at Fort Street and ending at Place des Festivals – see floats, marching bands, Santa and his elves, and more! Walk through the city streets and among the skyscrapers on tours by Art Public Montréal. See another side of Montréal in quaint neighbourhoods and big parks, and step into the past in Old Montréal on multimedia tour Cité Mémoire. Indoors, see Nintendo characters in lifelike wax at the Grevin Museum’s Super Mario and Friends exhibition, and go on tropical and outer space adventures at the Space for Life’s Botanical Garden, Insectarium, Biodôme and Planetarium. In sports: the Montréal Canadiens play the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 19, the Senators on Nov. 2, and the Hurricanes on Nov. 24 at the Bell Centre and Montréal’s Minor League Soccer team the Impact play Toronto FC on Nov. 22 at Olympic Stadium. Go shopping for all kinds of cute kids’ stuff at Marché Néné in Mile End this weekend, or get… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: October 28 to November 3

As the cool weather begins, Montréal knows exactly what to do about it: eat, drink and have some seasonal fun. Restaurant week MTLàTABLE kicks off, Halloween parties for all tastes abound, and new art, theatre, dance and music show off the city’s diverse cultural side. Eat, drink and play Eat well and explore the city at the same time during Montréal’s decadent restaurant week MTLàTABLE when 150 restaurants offer multi-course prix-fixe menus at incredible prices. Get an insider’s perspective in our Survival guide to MTLàTABLE and then choose places to dine and party, where to taste dishes of the world, neighbourhood restaurants to try, fabulous hotel restaurants, Languedoc wines and SAQ wine events, tours and cheese events, chocolate creations and more. Walk it all off among the changing leaves in the city’s quaint neighbourhoods and big parks, through Old Montréal and on multimedia tour Cité Mémoire, and among public art downtown among the skyscrapers. On Oct. 28, drink and eat local at Oktoberfest in the outdoor biergarten of the Olympic Stadium Esplanade. And get in on the new hockey season action as the Montréal Canadiens take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 29 and the Vancouver Canucks on Nov. 2 at the Bell Centre. Happy Halloween!  From wild late-night costume parties to ghost tours to activities for kids, let our Halloween… / Read More →

Blockbuster autumn 2016 Montréal museum exhibitions

The famed photographs of controversial American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, as well as those of William Notman, Canada’s most important 19th-century photographer, take centre stage in Montreal this autumn, alongside the 2016 edition of La Biennale de Montréal in a city that is an exciting and trailblazing global hub for contemporary art. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts blockbuster exhibition Focus: Perfection – Robert Mapplethorpe deals with issues of gender, race and sexuality, and features Mapplethorpe’s famed photographs of New York’s underground BDSM scene, of which he was an active participant, as well as many celebrity portraits, including Richard Gere, Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, Deborah Harry and Mapplethorpe’s soulmate, punk-rock icon Patti Smith. In all, there are some 300 works on view, mainly black-and-white photographs but also colour prints, Polaroids and Mapplethorpe’s famed X, Y and Z portfolios, all three on display in their entirety: X shows S&M scenarios; Y, floral still lifes; and Z, nude portraits of African-American men. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the exhibition by clicking here. Focus: Perfection – Robert Mapplethorpe continues to Jan. 22, 2017. Meanwhile, as part of Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations and the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, the McCord Museum presents Notman, A… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: August 26 to September 1

The end of August doesn’t mean the end of summer in Montréal: warm weather keeps  restaurant terrasses open late and turns parks and city streets into entertainment venues. Also keeping things hot this week: a beer tasting event, new films and art, and live music. Late-summer days The Mont-Royal Avenue Street Sale closes the avenue to traffic Aug. 25-28, featuring plenty of shopping along with open-air restaurants and bars, entertainment – including music on Friday evening from Socalled in front of Mont-Royal metro, live painting, DJs and more – games and activities for kids – from face painting and rock climbing to an electric train and mini golf – at the corners of Mont-Royal and Cartier and Mont-Royal and Des Érables. Walk among farmers, craftspeople and entertainers straight out of 1750 at Pointe-à-Callière’s 18th-Century Public Market in Old Montréal, Aug. 27-28, featuring food, drink, music, storytelling and performances in the spirit of New France. Swing to the sound of musical art installation 21 Swings outside Place des Arts, or take an easy cruise along the Saint-Lawrence River on a laid-back brunch, afternoon or gourmet dinner cruise with Croisières AML. The SOS Labyrinthe and sailing-ship-themed ropes course Voiles en Voiles keep everyone on their toes in the Old Port of Montréal. Test your chess skills on the… / Read More →

What to do on Canada Day in Montréal

Sure, Montréal has oodles of European charm, but in its heart of hearts, it really is Canadian. On July 1, tourists and locals will come together to celebrate Canada Day with an array of events to choose from across the city. Between the official ceremonies, a multicultural parade, star-studded musical performances, evening parties and a fireworks display, you’ll have plenty of fun to choose from as you immerse yourself in all things Canadian. Celebrate with the family “From east to west… Happy Canada Day” is the theme of this year’s celebration and people will have plenty of fun and free activities to enjoy in the Old Port and the Bonsecours Basin Park. Fun guaranteed! The celebrations start with pomp and circumstance at 11 a.m., with an official ceremony that includes the swearing in of new Canadians, the raising of the flag and the Canadian Armed Forces Military Band playing. At noon, there will be a 21-cannon salute and, for people with a sweet tooth, the chance to have a piece of giant birthday cake. Come afternoon, there will be a host of activities to choose from. In the Canada Tent, history buffs can take a history tour of the Canadian… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: June 24 to 30

The city heats up with a bang at the massive Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day celebrations this Friday and Saturday, keeps sizzling with great food and drink at outdoor markets everywhere, and stays hot as the Montréal International Jazz Festival opens on Thursday. Outdoor celebrations The whole city celebrates Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, also known as Fête National, on June 24 – and on June 23 too! Find live music, food and general festivities at Place des Festivals, Jardins Gamelin and along St-Denis Street in the Quartier des Spectacles, at the Olympic Park and in every neighbourhood including at the Marché des Possibles in Mile End – plus the annual parade along Sainte-Catherine Street downtown starting at 1 pm on June 24. In the Old Port of Montréal, ride the zipline, climb on the rope structures of Voiles en Voiles, and find your way through the SOS Labyrinthe. At the foot of the Jacques-Cartier bridge you’ll find Marché du Village au Pied-du-Courant, featuring free music events, an outdoor bar, food trucks and more all summer. The Botanical Garden continues its outdoor arts series with live music on the weekend, this Sunday with Ingrid St-Pierre. When night falls in Old Montréal, the building’s facades light up with the 20… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: June 10 to 16

Fast cars, fun parties, great music, excellent food: it’s June in Montréal, that’s for sure. Music festivals dominate the entertainment field this week, from French pop to classical Baroque, loudly rivalled by F1 Grand Prix events plus a beer festival, a science fest, a celebration of street art, and more. Start your engines Fast, flashy and over the top, the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada returns this weekend with a race at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve near Parc Jean-Drapeau, plus meet-ups with star drivers, outdoor entertainment and too many parties to count in downtown Montréal. The biggest parties happen outdoors: at the Crescent Street Canadian Grand Prix Festival, the Peel Formula event a couple of blocks over, F1 Old Montréal activities and  Little Italy Racing Weekend celebrations, late-night electro dance parties at New City Gas  and more – cars, drivers, beautiful people, music, food and drink, what else could an F1 fan ask for? Outdoor entertainment for all ages All those outdoor stages at Place des Festivals downtown light up with new and legendary music stars from Québec, France, Belgium, Mali and other French-speaking countries for the Les FrancoFolies festival, ongoing to June 18 – plus there’s food and drink,… / Read More →

Must-see autumn 2015 Montréal museum exhibitions

There are several hot-ticket exhibitions on display at Montréal museums this autumn. Here are some choice picks: The George S. Zimbel: A Humanist Photographer exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has plenty of star power: The exhibition features seventy images from Zimbel’s collection and covers three years of his career: 1953, 1954 and 1955. The result of photographic commissions for magazines and personal projects, some of these photos have become iconic, such as his series on Marilyn Monroe shot in 1954 during the production of the film The Seven Year Itch by director Billy Wilder. With a camera in his hand since his teenage years, Zimbel’s New York street scenes reflect the social and economic climate of postwar America. “1953, ’54, ’55 — those were tense years,” says Zimbel, who has lived and worked in Montréal since the early 1980s. “I was in the U.S. Army in Germany working on the Rhine River, but on leave I was seeing Europe for the first time. Then back to New York to freelance for magazines, industry, any assignment, anywhere — New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Texas — I was on my own, shooting all the time, had to make a… / Read More →

Deals and steals at Montréal museums

Montréal Museums’ Day is a great way for art-lovers on a budget to visit Montréal’s 38 museums for free in late May each year. But the city’s major museums also have many deals year-round to see blockbuster exhibits as well as their permanent collections. Here are some choice activities and deals for solo visitors as well as families on a budget: Family deals The oldest and busiest museum in Canada, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts schedules Family Weekends with children’s drop-in workshops and interactive tours of the collections, as well as lectures and film screenings in the Maxwell Cummings Auditorium. MMFA admission for children 12 and under is free, although fees do apply for the MMFA’s popular Museum Day Camps for children. The Musée d’art contemporain admission for children aged 12 and under is free, although fees do apply for the MAC’s popular Museum Day Camps for children.  The MAC also charges a flat-rate $30 admission for families (2 adults with children). The McCord Museum admission and activities are free for children aged 12 and under. On arrival at the McCord’s admissions desk, kids will get a free backpack (as long as quantities last) containing everything they’ll need for… / Read More →

10 Things that Make Montréal Shine

We’ve been telling you for years: Montréal is an amazing place to visit. With world-class dining, accommodations, festivals, museums and heritage sites, enhanced with four distinct seasons and sexy French charm, our city consistently ranks among the world’s best. Naming all our successes could take a while, so we’ve narrowed down the list to a cool round-up of 10 media nominations that rank Montréal among the world’s hottest travel destinations. Since we’ve come out on top in such a diverse range of categories—including some that will surprise you (check out #7!)—we know that Montréal offers something for everyone. See which features will tickle your fancy, then go ahead and book your ticket. Here are just 10 things that put Montréal in the limelight: 1.  Best Winter Destinations National Geographic, December 2014 “Montréal is at its most magical blanketed in snow. Bundle up, get outside, and celebrate winter at the 16th MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, the city’s biggest winter arts, music, and food festival. Save some energy for the final night’s Nuit Blanche à Montréal, a dusk-to-dawn party packed with more than 200 indoor and outdoor activities. Most events are free, and some are held under the stars or, if you’re lucky, the lightly falling snow.” 2. Best Music… / Read More →